The drill is probably the most feared of all the dental tools, and with good reason, the vibrations are not only mind-numbing, they are also capable of causing considerable discomfort as they jolt the nerve endings in the teeth. Well now the millions of dental-phobic people all over the world have one less thing to worry about; a new ‘gas-firing’ drill has been developed as a pain free alternative, it can also make the process faster and more hard-wearing for the future.
Researchers at the University of Missouri are taking credit for the revolutionary idea, and they are confident that their new product will allow more patients to undergo filling treatment with a less painful outcome. Tooth decay is the most common dental problem in the world, and cavities currently have to be treated by drilling away the decayed area and then replacing it with fillings made of amalgam or composite bonding material. The ‘non-thermal argon plasma brush’ will remove the uncomfortable drilling stage; it works by firing out tiny electrically charged particles that are powerful enough to cut through the enamel, killing bacteria as they go – which means it is also a more sanitary process.
Head of prosthodontics at King’s College London Dental Institute spoke to the Daily Mail earlier today, saying that ‘in principle, it sounds like a good idea. If this mixture of gas and liquid can be shown to remove enamel, it would be a big step forward for dentistry.’